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Spanish police recover priceless cultural treasures in mega bust of international art thieves

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Spanish police recover priceless cultural treasures in mega bust of international art thieves
14:11 CET+01:00
More that 3,500 individual cultural artefacts have been recovered and 75 people arrested for running an international art trafficking organization in an operation led jointly by Spanish and Cypriot police.

Several items identified as having “ great cultural importance in the archaeological world” were recovered as part of a widespread operation involving law enforcement agencies from 18 countries, according to a statement issued by Europol.

A marble Ottoman tombstone, and a post-Byzantine icon depicting Saint George were among the 3,561  treasures recovered as part of Operation Pandora, including 19 artefacts stolen from the Archaeological Museum in Murcia in 2014.

Over 400 stolen coins from different periods were seized following investigations into online advertisements, according to the statement.

“Interpol assisted investigators in the field by cross-checking hundreds of objects against their stolen works of art database. They also provided a swift response when identifying artefacts of illicit provenance.

Spain's Interior Ministry said a total of 48.588 people were investigated and 29,340 vehicles and 50 boats searched during operations concentrated in October and November last year.


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